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Biden: NATO Has Never Been More United

March 24, 2022 | BY Jim Garamone , DOD News

"NATO has never, never been more united than it is today," said President Joe Biden following an alliance meeting in Brussels today. 

Biden participated in an extraordinary summit meeting at the alliance headquarters, just one month after Russian President Vladimir Putin broke the peace of Europe by invading Ukraine.  

People walk through a building.
NATO Walk
President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg walk through NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 24, 2022.
Photo By: NATO photo
VIRIN: 220324-O-D0439-001

The president noted that the day after the Russian invasion, NATO held a meeting. "At that time, my overwhelming objective in wanting that summit was to have absolute unity on three key important issues among our NATO and European allies," he said. "First was to support Ukraine with military and humanitarian assistance." 

The second was to impose the most significant economic sanction regime to cripple Putin's economy and punish him for his actions. "Third, was to fortify the eastern flank of our NATO allies who were obviously very, very concerned, and … worried what would happen," he said.  

Three airmen secure equipment on a pallet bound for Ukraine.
Ukraine Assistance
Air Force airmen assigned to the 436th and 72nd Aerial Port Squadrons palletize equipment bound for Ukraine during a foreign military sales mission at Dover Air Force Base, Del., March 8, 2022. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $5.4 billion in total assistance to Ukraine, including security and non-security assistance.
Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. J.D. Strong II
VIRIN: 220308-F-CJ792-2207

All this happened and the meeting today was put in place to build on these efforts. "The United States has committed to provide over $2 billion in military equipment to Ukraine since I became president, anti-air systems, anti-armor systems, ammunition. And our weapons are flowing into Ukraine as I speak."  

In addition, Biden announced $1 billion in humanitarian relief for Ukrainians affected by the war. "Many Ukrainian refugees will well wish to stay in Europe closer to their homes, but we also will welcome 100,000 Ukrainians to the United States with a focus on reuniting families," Biden said.  

Service members, some wearing face masks, unload boxes.
Loading Supplies
Air Force airmen assigned to the 730th Air Mobility Squadron, the 515th Air Mobility Operations Group and soldiers assigned to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force unload and sort humanitarian aid cargo from the government of Japan onto air-cargo pallets at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Mar. 14, 2022. The Japanese government provided 38 tons of humanitarian aid supplies to Ukraine.
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey
VIRIN: 220314-F-HU835-2046A
Airmen create care packages for Ukranian refugees.
Care Package
In support of Ukraine, a partner nation under the National Guard's State Partnership Program, airmen assigned to the 129th Rescue Wing came together to build care packages at Moffett Air National Guard Base, Calif., March 8, 2022. The packages will be sent overseas and given to Ukranian refugees displaced by the war with Russia. The airmen filled more than 300 bags with socks, snacks and oral hygiene items.
Photo By: Air Force Master Sgt. Ray Aquino, California Air National Guard
VIRIN: 220308-Z-FO594-0006

He also announced the United States will invest $320 million to bolster democratic resilience and defend human rights in Ukraine and neighboring countries.  

The United States in tandem with the European Union, Canada and Japan will also look at the effect Putin's war will have on food and energy security. The nations are also sanctioning more than 300 members of the Russian Duma, oligarchs and defense companies that fuel the Russian war machine, he said.  

A pilot sitting in an airplane prepares for takeoff.
Flight Prep
Air Force Lt. Col. John Ryan, a pilot with the 555th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon, prepares to takeoff for a routine training flight at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Feb. 17, 2022. The flights will support NATO’s enhanced air policing mission by increasing the defensive posture along NATO’s border in the Black Sea region to reinforce regional security.
Photo By: Air Force Senior Airman Brooke Moeder
VIRIN: 220217-F-ZR251-1160

Finally, Biden said that Putin launched his invasion absolutely sure that NATO would split apart. Instead, the United States deployed more than 20,000 troops to Europe. Other allies stepped up and moved forces to the eastern border of the alliance.  

"NATO established … four new battle groups in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia to reinforce the Eastern Front," he said. "Putin was banking on NATO being split. My early conversation with him in December and early January, it was clear to me he didn't think we could sustain this cohesion. Putin is getting exactly the opposite [of] what he intended to have as a consequence of going into Ukraine."